“Wind turbine blades are usually made from epoxy resin or unsaturated polyesters,” explains CEO Kim Harnow Klausen. “We have developed a polyurethane-based infusion resin that offers many technical and economic advantages, and we are in the phase of introducing it to the market. It is a completely new market for polyurethane and a departure for us and for the wind turbine market. Worldwide the wind energy market is growing 9% per year, which makes it a very interesting market for us.”
The company itself has just undergone a major change. Previously known as Bayer MaterialScience, it now operates under the Covestro name while remaining a 100% subsidiary of chemicals giant Covestro AG.
Covestro supplies key industries around the world with raw materials for premium polyurethane foam in both its flexible and rigid forms. It also produces high-performance polycarbonates as well as speciality chemicals for coatings, adhesives and films.
“In all of our activities, we stand for one thing – sustainable solutions,” insists Mr. Klausen. “We refuse to take on projects with a negative environmental impact but are more than happy to invest in finding solutions that improve environmental performance.”
A good example is a project carried out in cooperation with the Danish window manufacturer Ideal Combi. “We were asked to come up with a solution for the world’s best insulating window frame, and after two and a half years in development, we provided the solution,” says Mr. Klausen. “Our challenge in the wind industry is to find new materials and solutions that will satisfy the need for strength of the bigger, more powerful turbines currently being designed. We have to reduce the costs per kilowatt hour of wind energy to make it a truly sustainable alternative energy source.”
The Danish operation is heavily involved in innovation. “In addition to wind energy, we are also looking into insulation, low-energy building solutions, electrical encapsulation and PUR Pultrusion,” says Mr. Klausen. “We expect innovations in these areas to drive growth in the future.”